As I went on and on to my friend about the awesome service learning projects that we were doing with high school students throughout the state of Florida, she cut me off. “What exactly is service learning anyway?”
I had been so accustomed to discussing community service learning (CSL for short) with expert CSL facilitators, I forgot that it wasn’t a term that is naturally understandable. Now of course, I have quoted the National Service Learning Clearinghouse for a definition on my Service Learning page, but I explained it to my friend in layman’ terms. “Service learning is connecting actual community service involvement with skills and content learned in the classroom.”
Those of you who are service learning pros know there is a little more to it than that, but my friend was satisfied with the definition. “Oh, that sounds great!” She said.
Yes, service learning is a great concept, I thought, but it is much more challenging to pull off in the age of standardized testing. Am I right? So I’m asking my CSL pros out there, what were your biggest challenges with service learning? (Please reply below.)